Q&A: Daljit Dhaliwal, new anchor at Worldfocus

August 28th, 2009

On Monday, August 31, Daljit Dhaliwal becomes the new anchor at Worldfocus, the nightly international newscast produced by WNET.ORG. Martin Savidge will remain on Worldfocus as a special correspondent. Dhaliwal answered a few questions about her new role at Worldfocus and her own background in international news.

How does it feel to be back at public television and in the anchor chair of a national, nightly international news program?
Dhaliwal: It very satisfying to return to the fold of the public television family. Most journalists would relish the idea of working in a news environment where international events are front and center and not an afterthought of news coverage. Public television viewers are a discerning bunch who are hungry for news and context about the rest of the world and it’s a privilege to be a part of a team that does that each weeknight.

Why should international news coverage matter to the American public right now?

Dhaliwal: The global economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But specific stories aside, I think it’s important for Americans to be engaged because of America’s global influence and power.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in journalism?
Dhaliwal: I grew up in the UK where public service broadcasting has a strong tradition and so I think being exposed early on to solid news and current affairs programs made me curious about what was happening out there. After university I was lucky enough to be accepted onto a BBC training course that then gave me solid building blocks for my career.

You’ve interviewed dozens of international newsmakers but if could pick a few who would they be?
Dhaliwal: Osama Bin Laden, President Obama, Nelson Mandela, Bono, Vladimir Putin.

Where was the most exciting/interesting location you traveled recently for a story?
Dhaliwal: I was in the Baltics not long ago reporting for Worldfocus and while it’s not a global hotspot area, it was certainly refreshing to bring stories from these places and put them on our newscast. I can’t remember the last time I saw pieces from Estonia and Lithuania on a nightly newscast.

What would you do in life if you were not doing journalism?
Dhaliwal: One of the great thing about journalism is that it allows me to indulge my love of travel when I’m on assignment. So I would certainly travel more.

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Watch a recent Worldfocus report by Daljit Dhaliwal on Estonia’s military after Soviet occupation and its alliance with the U.S. in Afghanistan.
Click here to see more of her reports from the field as a special correspondent for Worldfocus.